July 23, 2012
Several thousand workers will join the counter-SONA protest today to call for a “new path of development” and “alternative economics” as they insisted that poverty and unemployment has not been eradicated despite a decade of economic growth. “The anti-corruption campaign of President Aquino will not solve the problem of destitution and joblessness. The answer lies in taking a new path of development away from the Aquinomics of privatization, contractualization and globalization,” declared Renato Magtubo, Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chairperon.
Whether it rains or shines, some 1,000 members of PM are ready to join the “March for Alternative Economics” together with the labor coalition Nagkaisa (United) and the multisectoral alliances Freedom from Debt Coalition and Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (Campaign for a Humane Life). A total of 7,000 rallyists will march for “alternative economics” starting at 1:00 pm from the corner of
Luzon and Commonwealth Avenues then proceed to the Batasang Pambansa.
“It is expected that PNoy will trumpet inclusive growth under his administration. But for workers and the poor, GNP growth only means increasing numbers of ‘Gutom Na Pilipino,’” Magtubo added.
Gerry Rivera, president of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), said that “Even as PNoy garners the confidence of investors for the privatization projects under the Public-Private Partnerhip program, he has earned the ire of workers for his approval of outsourcing and contractualization at Philippine Airlines.”
Meanwhile PM echoed the criticism of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) against President Aquino for omiiting the Reproductive Health bill among his government’s priority bills and the House of Representatives for its indifference and utter disregard to the plight of poor and working women.
“This is PNoy’s third SONA and women’s mortality rate has increased to 221 per 100,000 live births in 2011 from 162 per 100,000 live births in 2009. Besides the fact that the Philippines must lower the maternal mortality rate to 52 per 100,000 live births, the important matter is how the executive and legislative view women’s right to reproductive health care.” explained PM secretary-general Judy Ann Miranda.
“Regular job and living wages are needed not the conditional cash transfer which is a band-aid solution at best. From 2003-2009 the economy grew by an average of 4.8% but the number of poor Filipinos increased from 19.8 million to 23.1 million. Poverty will not be dented no matter how many cases are filed against former president Gloria Arroyo and how many of her minions are jailed together with ex-Comelec chief Benjamin Abalos,” Rivera stressed.
Magtubo reiterated that “Among the ASEAN nations, the
have the most persistent incidence of poverty (defined as living on less than US$1.25 a day). The Philippines has the highest percentage of slum population as a percent of its urban population among six Asian countries.” Philippines